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Thread: Phish?

  1. #26
    A co-worker loaned me "Hoist" when it first came out, and I quickly ended up buying those first five albums. I've always thought "Junta" seemed like a sure bet for prog fans - it sounds really "stereotypically proggy" (in a good way) to me. I've kept up with each new release as they came out, but to be honest starting somewhere around "The Story of the Ghost" I got less and less enjoyment out of the studio work. That said, "Fuego" is probably the best one they've done in ages.

    They used to play nearby in Hershey, PA every summer, so I got the chance to see them live a few times. I always enjoyed the shows, but made the mistake of dragging the wife along once. She hated it, not so much because of the music but because of the crowd. She refuses to listen to Phish ever since.

    I've got a weakness for the big-ass live sets they've put out - the 6 disc "Hampton Comes Alive" is one of my favorite releases from any band. The 8 disc "At the Roxy" was pretty good, and I really enjoyed the 7 disc "Hampton/Winston-Salem '97" set.
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  2. #27
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ground and Sky's Ghost View Post
    I've got a weakness for the big-ass live sets they've put out - the 6 disc "Hampton Comes Alive" is one of my favorite releases from any band.
    I remember my disappointment when I acquired it shortly after its release. I found these 1998 shows unbelievably sloppy and messy, especially compared to four years earlier sharp and tight performances on "A Live One". To me it was like juxtaposing live Led Zeppelin from 1975 with the same band on stage in 1971. An apparent degradation of skills where musicians have lost the ability to play their own material.

    I would not return to these recordings for more than a decade, but when I finally reached for them again some three years ago, I got floored. What a great vibe, what a wonderful looseness compared to their tedious 1994 tension-release exercises and guitar shredding. An apparent reaching of maturity where musicians have learnt to play less just to express more from their own material.

    And that Zeppelin's Earl Court 1975 run listened now... What a great set of dangerously loose performances!
    Last edited by Jay.Dee; 07-28-2015 at 06:15 PM.

  3. #28
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    ^^^That is hysterical.
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

  4. #29
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  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Before that was Chalk Dust Torture, no?
    Not on any radio I heard of but I could believe east coast stations would be playing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obscured View Post
    "Free" had some airplay when "Billy Breathes" was released.
    Good point, forgot about that one.

  6. #31
    Connoisseur of stuff. Obscured's Avatar
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    Tonight's second set just started- http://mixlr.com/phishfiend/
    Austin 360 Amphitheater, Del Valle, TX
    July 28, 2015 Start Time: 8:00 CDT

    Set 1 Start: 8:34 CDT

    Set 1:
    Party Time >
    Free
    Halley's Comet >
    Wolfman's Brother
    (Trey and Page talk to the audience!)
    Possum
    Lawn Boy
    Bouncin' Around The Room
    Water In The Sky
    Dirt
    Devotion to a Dream
    Sugar Shack
    Run Like An Antelope

    Set 1 End: 10:55 PM CDT

    Set 2 Start: 11:24 PM CDT

    Set 2:
    46 Days
    "Henry Cow always wanted to push itself, so sometimes we would write music that we couldn't actually play – I found that very encouraging." - Lindsay Cooper, 1998
    "I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip." - Roger Waters, 2014
    "I'm a collector. And I've always just seemed to collect personalities." - David Bowie, 1973

  7. #32
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    I found these 1998 shows unbelievably sloppy and messy, especially compared to four years earlier sharp and tight performances on "A Live One". To me it was like juxtaposing live Led Zeppelin from 1975 with the same band on stage in 1971. An apparent degradation of skills where musicians have lost the ability to play their own material.
    In Led Zeppelin's case, Jimmy Page becoming a heroin addict ca. 1975 and Bonzo's increasingly out of control alcoholism and dabbling in heroin certainly didn't help, and by 1998, Phish had finally arrived at the arena level in the US and had begun to have substance abuse problems as well. Trey's addiction to Oxycontin is well known and was a major cause of the breakup in 2004 after the disastrous Coventry festival. I saw him with his solo band not long after that and it was sad, he was in terrible shape.

    Nowadays, Phish is a part-time gig for the members, Trey and Mike have solo careers, Page plays with various people. Jon doesn't do much musically outside of Phish anymore, I find he's the one that takes the longest to get in stride once a tour starts. Trey doing the Dead gigs and having to practice so much certainly has helped his playing on the current tour.

    A 2:21 first set, not likely.

    7/28/15, Set 2: 46 Days -> The Dogs -> 46 Days > Piper > Ghost > Shade, Gotta Jibboo, Waiting All Night, Blaze On, Wading in the Velvet Sea > David Bowie, Suzy Greenberg > Tweezer Reprise
    Encore: Loving Cup

    Nice, they did the Tweeprise to round off the Tweezer from Saturday.
    ...or you could love

  8. #33
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
    In Led Zeppelin's case, Jimmy Page becoming a heroin addict ca. 1975 and Bonzo's increasingly out of control alcoholism and dabbling in heroin certainly didn't help, and by 1998, Phish had finally arrived at the arena level in the US and had begun to have substance abuse problems as well. Trey's addiction to Oxycontin is well known and was a major cause of the breakup in 2004 after the disastrous Coventry festival.
    I cannot help but feel strangely attracted to live recordings of Phish from 2000 and Led Zeppelin from 1977, when their substance abuse started to really take the toll. Sheer brilliance intertwining with absolute mess makes an enchanting mixture for me. An excitement similar to looking for gold nuggets in a mud I suppose.

    Eddie Van Halen allegedly commented that Jimmy Page played on the 1977 tour as if he'd had broken his hand. Peter Banks (of YES fame) stated that after years of practising he realized that what had amazed him in Syd Barrett's and Dave O'List's playing were actually their drugs-induced errors, which he had initially taken as an inspiringly unique technique.

    Professional musicians spending years on polishing their licks and chops will never be able to stomach that a bunch of drugged or/and drunk guys called artists can seize the audience imagination with technically flawed performances lacking accuracy and crispness. An inexplicable cruelty of the world of art where the notion of talent and greatness escapes any rational qualification and measurement, leaving hard work at the whim of unqualified audience.

  9. #34
    Don't forget that as virtuosic and chopsy as like Coltrane and Mile Davis were, they were often drugged and/or drunk. Looseness, sway, and swagger are totally appealing to a 'rock' audience out to have a good time, some eager to vicariously absorb 'cool' from the performers (and the rest of the audience).

  10. #35
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerking View Post
    Not on any radio I heard of but I could believe east coast stations would be playing it.

    Well, I live in Vermont. And despite avoiding the radio I heard it quite a bit. So my experience could be skewed.
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  11. #36
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nador View Post
    Don't forget that as virtuosic and chopsy as like Coltrane and Miles Davis were, they were often drugged and/or drunk.
    Miles' live recordings like Pangaea/Agharta somewhat expose his drug-related problems, but it does not diminish his audience's fascination (mine either) with these releases.
    Last edited by Jay.Dee; 07-30-2015 at 05:46 PM.

  12. #37
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    This is one of most excruciating albums I've ever listened to:

    Live_in_Japan_(John_Coltrane_album).jpg

    Recorded July, 1966
    Disc One
    Afro Blue - 38:49
    Peace on Earth - 26:25
    Disc Two
    Crescent - 54:33
    Disc Three
    Peace on Earth - 25:05
    Leo - 44:49
    Disc Four
    My Favorite Things - 57:19

    I'm a Coltrane fan, love the late 50's/early 60's stuff, I like Ascension and Kulu Sé Mama but man oh man, this album was a trial to listen to. It's Coltrane in full-on "free" mode, Pharoah Sanders totally rejects such trivial concepts as "melody" and it just goes on and on and on and..... Now, the one time I listened to this, I thought "What a shame they recorded and released this, Coltrane's heroin addiction must have been really out of control". But I found out that he kicked smack in ca. 1957! D'oh!
    ...or you could love

  13. #38
    W.P.O.D. Dan Marsh's Avatar
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    The two Texas Phish shows were awesome. The second set in Austin was just so freaking good.

  14. #39
    I don;t think that Phish are very good songwriters at all, especialy lyrically but I do like the sound of them live in smallish doses. Not a patch on GD.

  15. #40
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    I don;t think that Phish are very good songwriters at all, especialy lyrically
    Nah, disagree with that completely. It's why I became a fan and am still around 12 years later, the sheer number of songs that are based on solid songwriting. The lyrics can be silly --that's the Zappa influence-- or pretty much just an excuse to not have a song be an instrumental (Slave to the Traffic Light, David Bowie, The Divided Sky) but Tom Marshall especially writes wonderful lyrics. They have a bunch of songs with top-drawer melodies and chord progressions from Junta to Fuego. They don't do much of their proggy stuff any more because they're a part-time band, they simply won't put in the time to rehearse 8 hours a day for weeks on end like they used to.

    As for the dreary Grateful Dead, I've never liked them and really came to loathe 'em because of a roommate I had who played them constantly. I know I'm cherry picking, but this isn't exactly lyrical genius either:

    Riding that train
    High on cocaine
    Casey Jones you better
    Watch your speed


    Give me this Phish lyric any day:

    She gave me ideas
    Planted the seed
    But she never stopped to reflect
    The course that she's on, wherever it leads
    I never would redirect

    Pebbles and marbles like words from a friend
    Make us hold tight but are lost in the end
    When we're alone we all seem to tend
    If we find a marble in dust
    To wish someone left it for us
    ...or you could love

  16. #41
    Connoisseur of stuff. Obscured's Avatar
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    "Carini"

    I saw you with Carini and that naked dude
    I couldn't eat my food
    Lucy had a lumpy head
    Lucy took a walk, now Lucy's dead.

    You told me of a secret place
    I saw it when I met you
    the walrus on your face
    Aghilla scared the shit out of the ram

    The thesis that you're writing is a load of shit
    But I'm glad you finally finished it
    You went across the street and he called his dad
    Now you'll never get the raise you thought you had

    The people all were screaming when they saw the lump
    Everyone was screaming when they saw the lump
    Aghilla scared the shit out of the ram

    Carini had a lumpy head
    Carini had a lumpy head
    Carini had a lumpy head
    Carini had a lumpy head

    "Henry Cow always wanted to push itself, so sometimes we would write music that we couldn't actually play – I found that very encouraging." - Lindsay Cooper, 1998
    "I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip." - Roger Waters, 2014
    "I'm a collector. And I've always just seemed to collect personalities." - David Bowie, 1973

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
    Nah, disagree with that completely. It's why I became a fan and am still around 12 years later, the sheer number of songs that are based on solid songwriting. The lyrics can be silly --that's the Zappa influence-- or pretty much just an excuse to not have a song be an instrumental (Slave to the Traffic Light, David Bowie, The Divided Sky) but Tom Marshall especially writes wonderful lyrics. They have a bunch of songs with top-drawer melodies and chord progressions from Junta to Fuego. They don't do much of their proggy stuff any more because they're a part-time band, they simply won't put in the time to rehearse 8 hours a day for weeks on end like they used to.

    As for the dreary Grateful Dead, I've never liked them and really came to loathe 'em because of a roommate I had who played them constantly. I know I'm cherry picking, but this isn't exactly lyrical genius either:

    Riding that train
    High on cocaine
    Casey Jones you better
    Watch your speed


    Give me this Phish lyric any day:

    She gave me ideas
    Planted the seed
    But she never stopped to reflect
    The course that she's on, wherever it leads
    I never would redirect

    Pebbles and marbles like words from a friend
    Make us hold tight but are lost in the end
    When we're alone we all seem to tend
    If we find a marble in dust
    To wish someone left it for us
    I listened to the 2014 Phish album and really enjoyed the songs. A very good release. Quite surprising.

    But I will still take the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers over any of the modern jam band scene. In the first instance, the dad have a great connection to traditional American music-folk-bluegrass-country-- pretty much every style except for jazz. Songs on American beauty and Workingman's dead are stunning, really part of that old tradition The jam bands have no connection to this kind of music. Their loss.

    As improvisers, it's hard to beat the contrapuntal magic Jerry and Phil were able to convey. Practically unheard of in rock 'n' roll .
    Secondly, Billy and Mickey are two rock-and-roll drummers I have heard the truly understand the essence of dance, lightness of touch, and groove, almost in a jazz feel at times. Unlike perfectly every other rock-and-roll drummer, they rarely get plodding and heavy.

    Finally, the scene around modern jam bands seems to be all yuppies and drunk frat boys. There is nothing like a genuinely original counterculture vibe-Kessey-Cassady-Further-Merry Pranksters-etc that created the Grateful Dead. Granted, as the GD got bigger, that scene pretty much disappeared

    But the jam bands never had anything like that ever. I think of all the insufferable assholes to go to Dave Matthews shows. It's been insufferable assholes frat boys and yuppies from the very beginning.

    That said, I was pretty impressed by Fuego. A while back, someone gave me a copy of some festival called big Cypress. I listen to some of it and I didn't strike me as worth a further listen. Maybe I will check it out again. Still not the Grateful Dead though.

  18. #43
    They were THE band every "cool" kid listened to at my high school in the early to mid '90s (being in New England relatively close to their home town, it's not surprising). I was a prog-loving outcast and never even gave them the time of day simply because people I despised wore their shirts and hats. Pretty immature, but that's high school for ya. It wasn't until my brother brought home Rift one day that I started to become interested in their stuff and discover, "wow, this is actually complex and proggy."

    Rift became an instant favorite, along with Lawn Boy and A Picture of Nectar (never got into Junta much for some reason, I think it was the soft, jazzy production). Of course, I didn't reveal that I liked them to anyone until after high school. Liked select tunes from their later stuff but never got into it as much as the pre-Hoist albums.

    Of course, they truly shine live and A Live One, Hampton Comes Alive and several of the Live Phish titles were also mainstays. Rift is still my favorite. BTW, "The Wedge" got significant radio play around here on the major rock station at the time it was released (the "take the highway through the Great Divide" song). I'm not sure if it was just a regional thing.

  19. #44
    I remember WXRT in Chicago played "Character Zero" and "Heavy Things" (and sometimes "Back On The Train") when the respective CDs were new.

  20. #45
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    In the first instance, the dad have a great connection to traditional American music-folk-bluegrass-country-- pretty much every style except for jazz
    Hahaha "the dad". Phish has a strong jazz influence, Trey especially. He studied composition with a jazzy composer named Ernie Stires. Since I have little interest in "traditional American music etc." except for a few "country and western" people like Hank Williams, George Jones and pre-boob job Dolly Parton, that's where a lot of the Dead leaves me cold.

    Songs on American beauty and Workingman's dead are stunning, really part of that old tradition The jam bands have no connection to this kind of music. Their loss.
    Or: that's why I find the Dead so boring, they sound like the less-talented younger brothers of the people they emulate. Phish were the generation after, raised on Zappa, jazz fusion, the classic rock bands, prog, metal and reggae, they have a much wider stylistic net than the Dead ever did.

    As improvisers, it's hard to beat the contrapuntal magic Jerry and Phil were able to convey. Practically unheard of in rock 'n' roll
    Phil Lesh always sounded to me like what he was: an avant-garde composer studying with Luciano Berio and writing pieces for four orchestras who picked up the bass guitar and shortly after was in the Dead. I find Garcia to be incredibly limited, as one friend said once "God, can he do anything but endless legato lines"? As for Bob Weir, oh my.

    Secondly, Billy and Mickey are two rock-and-roll drummers I have heard the truly understand the essence of dance, lightness of touch, and groove, almost in a jazz feel at times. Unlike perfectly every other rock-and-roll drummer, they rarely get plodding and heavy.
    Oh, come on. Just to use your example, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe work in the same style and just as effectively. Kreutzmann was a least good enough for Phish to deign letting him sit in at Red Rocks in 2009, but Mickey Hart is often criticized even by Deadheads for not contributing much to the music except during the percussion solo bit. He did a good job on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack though!

    Finally, the scene around modern jam bands seems to be all yuppies and drunk frat boys.
    "Seems to be" is the key phrase there. Sure, the DMB crowd isn't my favorite, but one thing that amazes me at Phish (and Umphrey McGee) shows is how intently the crowd listens. I count myself as one who gets high and has some beer at a Phish/UM show, but the whole frat-bro aspect of the Phish crowd pretty much faded away after the second hiatus which ended in 2009.

    There is nothing like a genuinely original counterculture vibe-Kessey-Cassady-Further-Merry Pranksters-etc that created the Grateful Dead
    Right, it sure was "counterculture" to sign with one of the biggest record companies in the world and then flee to Marin County in 1968.

    Granted, as the GD got bigger, that scene pretty much disappeared
    I just think it's funny that you ding the DMB crowd when by the 80's, the Dead crowd was notorious for a good chunk of it showing up solely to get wasted or sell crap in the parking lot or get wasted while selling crap in the parking lot. There was a lot of resentment among Phish fans who had been around in the early 90's towards the wave of Deadheads who showed up after Garcia died and didn't know jack squat about the music or the culture between the band and their fans.

    Sort of like Yes and Genesis longtimers and the newbies who showed up for the pop hits.
    ...or you could love

  21. #46
    Member Wounded Land's Avatar
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    Just listened to Junta for the first time in a long time. Good record. I'm not terribly familiar with their material besides Junta and Lawn Boy, but just from that it's clear that their music could definitely appeal to progressive rock fans. A lot of my friends and musical associates are really into them.

    They sound very different than the Grateful Dead, to my ears...

    NP: Grateful Dead Go to Heaven

  22. #47
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    "Nothing" is my favorite Phish lyric. Beautiful stuff.

    Nothing’s ensconced
    Nothing’s entrenched
    Nothing’s entangled or twisted or wrenched
    Everything smoothly flows right through my head
    What I hoped might linger is swept off instead

    Tunnels and channels and chasms and rifts
    Shiny smooth streams and unclimbable cliffs
    I see you there ever so slowly being drawn to the sea
    As if by some signal that’s unheard by me

    I stand on a featureless sheet of blue stone
    And then for one instant I’m not quite alone
    Your hand is extended but then you rescind
    And you like my thoughts are borne off by the wind

  23. #48
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    I'd rather kut bate

    (so sorry everyone)
    "Normal is just the average of extremes" - Gary Lessor

  24. #49
    Connoisseur of stuff. Obscured's Avatar
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    Sick, sick, sick first set going on now-
    Alpine Valley Music Theatre
    East Troy, WI
    August 9th, 2015

    Show Time: 7:00 PM CST

    Set One
    Start Time: 7:45 PM

    The Very Long Fuse
    Colonel Forbin's Ascent >
    Fly Famous Mockingbird
    Brian and Robert
    Saw It Again
    Esther
    Weigh
    The Sloth
    Sanity
    Split Open and Melt

    Stream- http://mixlr.com/lvnphish/
    Last edited by Obscured; 08-09-2015 at 09:56 PM.
    "Henry Cow always wanted to push itself, so sometimes we would write music that we couldn't actually play – I found that very encouraging." - Lindsay Cooper, 1998
    "I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip." - Roger Waters, 2014
    "I'm a collector. And I've always just seemed to collect personalities." - David Bowie, 1973

  25. #50
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    8/9/15 Set 2: Run Like an Antelope > Carini > Waves > Tweezer, Dirt, Mike's Song > Blaze On > Weekapaug Groove, Tweezer Reprise
    Encore: Contact, Frankenstein

    On paper, that's a great show, some major bustouts: Last Esther was 8/30/13 (75 shows); Last Sloth 7/12/13 (92 shows); Last Colonel Forbin > Mockingbird 12/31/13 (57 shows); Last time Antelope opened a second set 8/11/04 (!!).
    ...or you could love

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